Slated to make his long-anticipated light heavyweight move in July of this year at UFC 291, former undisputed middleweight champion, Alex Pereira has initially opened as what may come as a surprising betting underdog to defeat fellow former champion, Jan Blachowicz.
Pereira, a former undisputed middleweight champion under the banner of the UFC, dropped his status as division pacesetter back in April of this year, suffering a second round KO loss to common-foe, Israel Adesanya.
As for Polish veteran, Blachowicz, the former KSW champion to boot, most recently headlined UFC 283 back in December, fighting Russian contender, Magomed Ankalaev, fighting the latter to a majority decision draw in the pair’s vacant light heavyweight title fight.
Himself sharing the Octagon with Nigerian-Kiwi striker, Adesanya back in 2021, Blachowicz successfully defended his light heavyweight title against the City Kickboxing mainstay – handing the former his first professional mixed martial arts loss to boot.
Alex Pereira opens as a betting underdog ahead of his UFC 291 return
And ahead of his impending 205lbs leap this summer on a stacked UFC 291 main card in Salt Lake City, Utah, Alex Pereira has opened as a surprising betting underdog (+130) against Blachowicz – with the Pole opening as a favorite (-110).
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Boasting an undefeated UFC tenure before his April knockout loss to Adesanya – whom he holds three other victories over in their long-standing combat sports rivalry, Pereira made a massive Octagon splash in a 2021 debut.
Landing at Madison Square Garden under the UFC banner, Alex Pereira made lightwork of Andreas Michailidis with a devastating second round knee KO victory, before taking a decision win over the battle-tested compatriot, Bruno Silva.
Earning his November title fight with Adesanya, Sao Paulo striker, Alex Pereira would then dispatch Sean Strickland with a one-sided first round KO triumph during International Fight Week, before snatching the title at the same venue as his promotional bow just 12 months into his stay with the UFC.
Scooping vacant light heavyweight gold in Abu Dhabi, UAE back in 2020, Blachowicz would land his own stunning KO win over Californian striker, Dominick Reyes, before racking up his one and only successful title defense in a decision win over Adesanya.
Rebounding from a title loss to Brazilian veteran, Glover Teixeira – a teammate of Alex Pereira, Blachowicz would secure a TKO victory over Aleksandar Rakic in a main event bracket, after the Austrian contender suffered a knee injury.
Poised to make a siege toward gold currently held by Dana White’s Contender Series product, Jamahal Hill before the close of this year, a victory for either underdog, Alex Pereira, or current favorite, Blachowicz would go a long way in ensuring either cement their status as number one contender in an emerging light heavyweight top-pack.
UFC 291 takes place on July 29. from the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, with a lightweight rematch between former interim champions, Dustin Poirier, and Justin Gaethje slated to take main event honors.